1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Surround sound headphones - help with final decision please!

Discussion in 'Headphones, Earphones & Portable Music' started by Biccy, May 3, 2005.

  1. Biccy

    Biccy
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    After buying portable dvd player (& cheap sony in ear phones), and never being able to watch tv/dvd's loud at night due to waking little boy in bed, ive been reseaching surround sound headphones for the last 2 days. Ive come up with the obvious 3 choices....Sony MDR-DS3000's, Pioneer SE-DIR800C's & Philips HD1500's.

    I know its probably not right asking which ones are best because different users will have different views but hopefully if i explain my needs somebody may point me in right direction.

    I understand the concept that all 3 will work if fed with a digital feed from my dvd player or Sky+ Movie channlels 1,2,3 (doly digital) but after ringing the tech department of all 3 companies today i was surprised that only the Sony's will decode the bitstream sent out from an optical output from my portable DVD player (the player itslef cant decode DTS or DD into 5.1, just 2 channel sound if sent out through mic output). Also the other 2 wouldnt decode sound from general terrestrial programmes into DD Pro Logic II but the Sony would. Is this true or have i been misinformed? If anything id've thought the more expensive philips/pioneers would be able to decode. Im wondering if this is the case with the Sony's too but the advisor may be wrong...sound sillys i know but as these are cheaper im not sure & dont want to part with cash without being certain.

    Even though the sound may not be up to the Pioneers & Philips, if it'll decode & output sound from my portable dvd player & also turn 2 channel sound from my sky+ optical cable (foootball, Eastenders etc) into DD Pro-Logic II then i will go for the Sony's.

    Thanks in advance for any advice/replies.
     
  2. Dr_Mike

    Dr_Mike
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    367
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Loughborough
    Ratings:
    +16
    You appear to have been badly mis-informed.

    The Pioneers WILL decode the DD5.1 or DTS digital bitstream which comes from the optical output on a DVD player. They will also decode a stereo signal into DPL II and can do that when fed either through the anologue inputs or through the digital connection (either as PCM or DD2.0 i think).

    I haven't seen the Philips but I'd be 99.9% certain that the same applies to them.
     
  3. Biccy

    Biccy
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I didnt think the info i was given was right, but as it was from the manufacturers advisors themselves i took it to be correct, both saying that they would only work with an already decoded signal. Admittedly each person that answered the calls didnt know at all & had to be go away & find out from somewhere. Im gunna try again tomorrow & ask to speak to someone who knows themselves i think. One of the main things for me is that they will decode the bitstream from the portable players optical output cos it cant do it itself, & also turn 2 channel from TV in DD PLII.
     
  4. Biccy

    Biccy
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
  5. Suave

    Suave
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,859
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Ratings:
    +705
    Hi JP Riches!

    All I can tell you is stay away from the sony's! You will be disappointed if you go them. I like many, many others have the Pioneer SE- DIR800C's and recommend them very highly. Read reviews outside of this forum too - Amazon etc to get an idea. I have heard that the Philips are also good but have not heard them so cannot comment - but I am not generally impressed with Philips products on many counts - build quality, performance, reliabilty etc are problems that seem to dog most Philips products - a pity as I believe it is a very innovative company but just loses out too much in every area to its competitors. This may/may not be true of the Philips SS headphones. There are many, many positive reviews of the Pioneers but very few, if any of the Philips which makes them very difficult to gauge or get a positive feeling about them due to the lack of reviews, comments or user opinions - There is just one guy on this forum who has both and in his opinion he feels the Philips are better as opposed to the many who have the Pioneers and think that they are great. Your chioces are: Go with the majority or minority opinion or best of all, get to hear both before buying!

    Suave!
     
  6. Carl Ed

    Carl Ed
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    54
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    While that is more or less true with standard Philips products, their top-end Match Line stuff is very good, so don't judge the HD1500s just on the fact they're made by Philips.


    To answer the original question, you have been misinformed. The Sony, Philips, Pioneer, and Panasonic surround phones all support DD5.1 and DTS5.1. The general concensus is that Dolby Headphone is better than Sony VPF.
     
  7. Suave

    Suave
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2004
    Messages:
    4,859
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Ratings:
    +705
     
  8. Biccy

    Biccy
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Suave, thanks for your input. Have read the great thread you originally started. My decision with the Sony's was only at the point when i thought the pioneers/phillips wouldnt decode a DD/DTS signal, this i'll come onto in a moment, otherwise i'm happier paying the extra money for one of the other 2.

    Carl Ed (againt thanks for reply) & Suave. Coming back to this decoding topic....without wanting to sound repetative, i still have queries with this, & it may be that my understanding of decoding/encoding of sound is to blame. I realise that the Pioneers would work fully with DD & DTS 5.1 which i will get from my Tosh RDXS32 DVDR or Sky Movies 1,2 & 3 from my Sky+. I now also am pretty sure that using the optical cable from my Sky+ the Pioneers will convert stereo sources into DD PLII.

    What I am still unsure is wether or not they would give the same effect of surround sound (DD or DTS 5.1) from my Panasonic DVD-LS50 portable DVD player. From what i understand, although the player recognises DD & DTS 5.1 (it comes up on screen) the only thing it can output is DD & DTS 2 channel sound (i believe from the headphone mic output). It also has an optical output which is where i would connect to the Pioneers base unit but as the DVD-LS50 does not actually decode (by this i mean it wont do what my amp does with my usual Tosh DVDR & send out 5.1 to my lounge speakers from a bitstream signal) would there actually be a 5.1 signal going from the player output to the base unit & therefore work, or would the Pioneer base unit 'decode' the bitstream into 5.1 for the headphones, or would it just simply not fully work as intended as its not a 5.1 signal. Sorry if there are errors in this, trying my best to describe with not much knowledge!
     
  9. Dr_Mike

    Dr_Mike
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Messages:
    367
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Loughborough
    Ratings:
    +16
    Provided your DVD player can output an undecoded DD5.1 or DTS signal through it's optical output, the Pioneer unit CAN produce the full surround effect and DOES NOT require any further decoding. I have my Pioneer base unit plugged straight into the optical out on my Toshiaba SD220, which has no internal surround decoding, and there is no other surround sound processing in the loop. The base unit is doing the decoding which the AV amp would do in a normal speaker set up.

    Does your DVD player have a set-up option to change the digital output with options like "Bitstream","PCM","2ch" etc ? If this is set to "Bitstream" or similar then this should output the undecoded DD or DTS 5.1 information. The headphone base unit will then decode this. On the other settings the player may decode and downmix to 2 channels and output this as stereo PCM. On this setting you wouldn't get the propper surround effect.
     
  10. honglong

    honglong
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2004
    Messages:
    137
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Nottinghamshire
    Ratings:
    +8
    no contest. i have both of the units (philips and pioneer) and the phillips is much better. It just has no optical input.
     
  11. Biccy

    Biccy
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Dr Mike, thanks, thats just what i wanted to hear so im sure the Pioneers will do the trick (& at least i know my understanding of it all wasn't as bad as i thought!) Ive got the portable player in front of me now & in the setup menu it gives me the following options under audio:

    PCM Digital Output: 'Off', 'up to 48kHz', 'up to 96kHz' or 'up to 192kHz'
    Dolby Digital: 'Bitstream' or 'PCM'
    DTS Digital Surround: 'Bitstream' or 'PCM'
    MPEG: 'PCM' or 'Bitstream'
    Dynamic Range Compression: 'Off' or 'On'

    The thing that put me off the Philips was the lack of optical input that would suit the portable player, plus the Pioneers are cheaper with a 2 year warrantee. Not sure if the Philips had that warrantee or just a 1 year.
     
  12. Carl Ed

    Carl Ed
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2005
    Messages:
    54
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Ratings:
    +0
    Set everything to bitstream. Turn dynamic range compression off (you have headphones after all, so the entire benefit of using it is being negated). You probably won't be able to notice any benefit from using upsampling with the Pioneers and the Philips as they only work at 44.1/48kHz (on the other hand the Sony's support higher sampling rates), so set it to 48kHz, and you can always change this later if you actually notice a difference using upsampling.
     
  13. Biccy

    Biccy
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Just got back after a half hour demo with the Pioneer's, decision made! See post in SE-DIR800c thread.
     
  14. Walzi

    Walzi
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I have heard the Pinoeer and the Philips. Both are pretty good, but the Pioneer does not have the same level of bass as the Philips. Here in Austria (Europe) both units costs the same (the Philips a little bit cheaper at 280 Euro) - so I will go with the Philips.
     

Share This Page

Loading...